What Does the Fox Say?
Every day in social media I’m confronted with, tagged in, and sometimes even slapped upside the head by motivational quotes designed to spur the reader on to live her life to the fullest and step outside of her comfort zone.
“One should never take the easy road, but the right road, no matter how long the travel.”
“In the end, we will only regret the chances we didn’t take.”
“Take every chance. Drop every fear.”
Okay, okay, OKAY! Geez! I’ve got it already.
I thought a lot about what my chance was that apparently everyone but I knew I wasn’t taking, and then, to assuage my guilt, decided to start a blog.
Trust me, it’s a scary endeavor. I mean, I’m always wondering, “Who am I to think I can write a blog? Does this blog have any merit? Does anyone really care that I deep-sixed my ficus, but am infatuated with my Ove’ Gloves? Oh man, this is, no doubt, a ridiculous, frivolous venture that I’m broadcasting to the whole, freaking world!” (Cue flop sweat.)
I had been continually questioning my ability as a blogger until last Thursday morning. That’s when I boldly read the visitors’ comments that my blog software had tucked away in a “Do-Not-Read-Or-Your-Self-Esteem-Will-Be-Obliterated” spam file.
I hadn’t intended to go anywhere near those tainted comments, but then I recalled the motivational quotes:
“Take every chance. Drop every fear. Read every piece of spam.”
So, I read the spam.
And amazingly, I felt a sense of elation and rightness with this blogging process that I never had before. There, in the trash file of all places, was a comment from “lyudmilashastakovitch”, apparently a loyal reader of my blog, that made my heart soar. She wrote,
“This is very interesting. You are very skiled blogger. I have join your rss feed and look forward to seeeking more of your wonderful post. Also, I have shared your website in my social networks!”
“I love you, Lyudmila!” I thought. “Have I told you that lately? You have shown me that taking that first, scary step was all worth it because I am not only a blogger, but a very skiled one at that! Yay!!! Happy dance! Oh, and you know what? I apologize, Lyudmila, for reading your message in my head with the voice of Natasha from Bullwinkle. Very bad of me. So sorry!”
I was a heartbeat away from changing the status of her comment from spam to legit, but was too hungry to hear what great things others had to say.
“Let’s see, the next post is from another foreign stranger, ‘sophierabinovitch’. Interesting.” Her name sounded similar to my new friend, Lyudmila’s. “Funny coincidence there. Anyway, let’s see what Soph has to say on this lovely fall morning.”
“Hello I am so glad I found your weblog, I really fokund youu bby accident while I was looking on Aol for something else, Anyhow you are very skiled blogger. I have join your rss feed and look forward to seeeking more of your wonderful post. Also, I have shared your website in my social networks!”
POP! PFFFffffffff . . .
It was as if someone had taken a pin and popped my confidence bubble, my elation slowly morphing into deflation.
You remember “The Fox and the Crow” fable, don’t you, by good old Aesop? The crow sits in a tree with a piece of cheese in her mouth. The fox comes by, complements the crow on her voice so she’ll sing and thus drop her cheese, which she does. The fox then has a nice grilled cheese sandwich and, I’m told, tomato soup for supper.
Well, it turns out that Lyudmila and Sophie were not my champions. Indeed not. They were my foxes saying what I wanted so desperately to hear.
The sad thing is, I almost bought it.
And that’s embarrassing.
I almost approved their comments and dropped my cheese. Almost. Not quite though. And there’s the difference.
I am not the crow.
I am still going to play the blogging game.
I am still taking a chance and dropping the fear.
I am just not ever going to come that close again to dropping my cheese.